Fit to a Tea

The Republic of Tea now offers a tea designed to raise money for breast cancer research. The limited edition Sip for the Cure tea is a blend of China green tea enriched with sweet-tart pink grapefruit and peony flowers. The company will donate 75 cents from the sale of each tin directly to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to aid in efforts to eradicate breast cancer through research, education, screening and treatment.

A full-size tin of 50 all-natural round teabags sells for $10. A refillable Traveler's Tea Tin with six teabags is sold for $4.95. The tins feature the Foundation's logo and detailed information on where to go for help, and information on breast cancer.

The Way of the Bunny

For consumers tired of traditional salty snacks (and looking for more healthful alternatives), Hain Celestial Group has added Carrot Chips to its line of fancy salty snacks. Made from carrot juice, stone ground corn and whole wheat, this turn on veggie chips is claimed to be a good source of calcium. They retail in a 4-oz. bag for $2.19 in health food stores.

Although this product may not reach the sales potential of Lay's or Doritos, it does offer a somewhat more healthful (only 150 calories and 9g of fat per 1-oz. serving) snack than the mainstream products. The line seems to be capitalizing on the popularity of the alternative chips, such as Terra Chips made from taro, sweet potato, carrot and other root vegetables.

The Wild Munch

Just about every other manufacturer has created a snack mix of one sort or another, so it makes sense that Frito-Lay would do the same thing. Now sold in the U.S. is Munchies Snack Mix. It combines some of its most popular non-potato products: Sun Chips, Doritos, Cheetos and Rold Gold Pretzels.

This combination allows the company to sell the snacks for a premium; the 7.75-oz. bag sells for $1.99 in supermarkets nationwide. The company has been selling this snack mix in Canada for the last two years and must have found it to be successful there.

Foolproofing Dinner

The folks at IBP (now part of Tyson) have been busy. Following the trend of offering quick and easy meal solutions, IBP has extended its Thomas E. Wilson brand to cooked prepared meat products. The line includes: Beef in Barbecue Sauce, Lemon Pepper Pork Roast, Seasoned Beef Sirloin Roast, Italian Seasoned Pork Roast, Beef Pot Roast, Seasoned Beef Meatloaf, and Roast Beef in Brown Gravy.

The products retail in plastic trays of between 16 and 24 oz. Most varieties sell for about $7.99 and provide about five 3-oz. servings. They are quick to prepare; consumers can heat them in less than seven minutes in the microwave. Presumably, this line is for consumers who want to prepare a meal “from scratch” by heating up the entrée and quickly preparing side dishes.

The better-known brand name currently in this type of product is Hormel with its Always Tender line of precooked entrees. They, too, come in similar varieties, focusing on meat in a sauce or gravy, ready to heat up quickly.

Global Trends

A blurred view. The differentiation between sweet and savory snacks and between snacks and meals continues to narrow.

Recently, a Goldrush branded, chocolate-flavored corn snack was launched in the Philippines. New in Egypt from Big One Products is Bigga branded chocolate corn snacks. In Australia, Smith's Snackfood (PepsiCo) introduced, under the Twisties brand, a limited-edition corn snack with a hot butter toffee flavor. A more traditional flavor has been launched in Portugal from Matutano (PepsiCo). It has added a cheeseburger flavor to its Cheetos range.

New in Italy under the Popz brand from Food Products International is Timeout popcorn, packaged in a bucket/tub. The package resembles a basketball hoop and actually can be used as one once the container is empty. With regard to novel shapes, new in South Korea from Binggrae are crab-shaped, spicy flavored corn snacks.

Format developments tend to focus on making snacking easier. To this end, Cadbury has presented France, bite-size, mini versions of the Finger chocolate-coated, finger biscuits. They are packaged in plastic pots with resealable lids. New in Hungary from Wolf are vanilla-flavored biscuits shaped as a tea cup and saucer.

For extra convenience, bacon company Danepak has introduced Rapid Rashers in the U.K. The bacon slices are packaged in a microwaveable box and can be cooked in 70 seconds. Meanwhile, sausages get a pizza flavor. New in New Zealand from Mainland Products are Sizzlers, pizza flavor sausages made with bacon, salami, tomato and cheese.

Launching a New Product? If so, contact Lynn Dornblaser at New Product News, 213 W. Institute Pl., Suite 208, Chicago, IL 60610. Call 312-932-0600, fax 312-932-0474 or e-mail ldornbla@mintel-iis.com. Information in this column is taken from the Global New Product Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group.

Coffee with Your Milk?

Sold under Procter & Gamble's Folger's brand name and produced by Morningstar Foods (part of Suiza—now Dean Foods), Jakada seems like more than the usual iced coffee.

This relaunch of a previously test-marketed product is made by a dairy company. In addition, it is packaged not in a glass bottle but in a plastic container similar to Dean's Milk Chugs. (It does not, however, have a distinctive Chug shape, rather a unique shape all its own.) Its shrink-wrapped label obscures the product—again like most milk drinks rather than iced coffee drinks, which tend to be in glass and provide a view of the product.

The question then: Does it make more sense to market a coffee-based drink in the same manner as single-serve milks, or to market coffee-based drinks in the soda aisle? That, no doubt, is the question for P&G and Morningstar. Given that consumers drink these things on the go (i.e., straight from Starbucks) and cold, it makes more sense that they be sold like single-serve milk.

Ingredients
Brewed Folgers coffee, lowfat milk, sugar, natural and artificial flavours, potassium citrate, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, lactic acid

Nutrition
Serving size 1 container (310ml), servings per container 1, calories 170, calories from 30, total fat 3.5g, saturated fat 2g, cholesterol 10mg, sodium 70mg, total carbohydrate 31g, dietary fiber 0g, sugars 30g, protein 4g, vitamin A 2%, vitamin C 0%, calcium 15%, iron 0%

Desserts Scorecard

Total introductions by various categories

January-November 2001

Ice cream/ frozen yogurt = 181
Chilled desserts = 48
Shelf-stable desserts = 60
Dessert toppings = 64

2000

Ice cream/frozen yogurt = 235
Chilled desserts = 29
Shelf-stable desserts = 29
Dessert toppings = 75

1999

Ice cream/frozen yogurt = 272
Chilled desserts = 15
Shelf-stable desserts = 8
Dessert toppings = 50

Source: New Product News/GNPD & PF